Good customer service pays off at car dealership says study

A recent survey of car dealership customers has found that they are remarkably loyal if the dealership's service department does a good job.

The new JD Power 2016 Customer Service Index Study found that 92 per cent of customers who said they were highly satisfied with their experience with an automobile dealership service, said they will definitely return to the same dealership for future work under warranty. Some 83 per cent said the same for work not covered by a warranty.

The results of the survey will be welcomed by dealerships that put customer satisfaction first. As well as offering excellent customer service, it's vital that dealership owners take out motor trade insurance and road risks insurance to protect their businesses from unforeseen losses, costs or liabilities. They would do well to ensure they have demonstration insurance in place too, so that they can offer test drives on request.

The survey found that, among those who were only slightly less satisfied with their customer service experience at their dealership, their loyalty fell drastically, to 74 per cent for warranty services and just 58 per cent for paid-for services.

The survey also found that the quicker and simpler the pick-up process is for a vehicle that has been in for maintenance, the more satisfied the customers are.

Dr Axel Sprenger, senior director of European automotive operations at JD Power, explained: “When auto dealerships manage to get the service department’s customer service equation right, they earn incredibly loyal customers." He added, "The service event is also instrumental in driving sales, as it is likely the most recent experience the customer has had at the dealer prior to shopping for a new vehicle.”

In terms of which car brands performed the best for dealership customer service levels, Mercedes-Benz was ranked as the best among premium car brands, while Toyota dealerships ranked the best among the volume brands.